Johnson and von der Leyen agree to make final push for trade deal

Boris Johnson and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen have agreed to make a final push to get a post-Brexit trade deal in time for the end of the year.

Following a telephone call lasting more than an hour, the two leaders acknowledged that there were still "significant differences" on key issues standing in the way of an agreement.

In a joint statement, they said they were instructing their chief negotiators – Lord Frost and Michel Barnier – to meet in Brussels on Sunday to assess whether they could be resolved.

"In a phone call today on the on-going negotiations between the European Union and the United Kingdom, we welcomed the fact that progress has been achieved in many areas," the statement said.

"Nevertheless, significant differences remain on three critical issues: level playing field, governance and fisheries. Both sides underlined that no agreement is feasible if these issues are not resolved.

"Whilst recognising the seriousness of these differences, we agreed that a further effort should be undertaken by our negotiating teams to assess whether they can be resolved.

"We are therefore instructing our chief negotiators to reconvene tomorrow in Brussels. We will speak again on Monday evening."